Ebony Top for CB Bass from Gallery Hardwoods

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nippes, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. nippes


    Jul 25, 2006
    Hi folks,

    I ordered a Cliff Bordwell Ball Bass already in August and chose the unique walnut top from his available tops page. After seeing some beautiful ebony tops, I decided to go that way and asked Cliff, if he could manage to organize some nice macc top for me. Instead of being nerved, he really was more than just helpful. He contacted Larry from Gallery Hardwoods, who went through his stock right after coming back from being out of town for ten days. I received the first proposals on Saturday, wasn´t absolutely convinced and then on Sunday - BAM - Larry found the winner. I can´t say, how much I appreciate the effort both guys took even on a weekend. Larry went through his stock on a Sunday, chose wood due to my specifications, covered it with Naphta, took pics and so on. Cliff did all the communication and was perfectly helpful.

    Attached you find the top - a stunning Macc Ebony.

    Here are the further specs:

    Ball Bass 4-string, fretted
    32" scale
    maple/wenge neck
    fingerboard: not sure yet
    mahogany core
    Nordstrand NJ4SE
    passive electronic

    I´m still thinking about the fretboard wood. Pao Ferro, Ebony, Bubinga, Wenge - so many choices. What do you think? Any ideas? Your input would be welcome.

    That´s it for now; more will come once Cliff starts to build it.

    Again, thanks Cliff and Larry for your help!!!
  2. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Nice, there's enough left over there to put a matching laminate on the headstock ;)
  3. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    Looks very nice indeed.
    However, I wonder if it will add too much weight to the bass :confused:
  4. Oh man... I bet an Acrylized Zebrawood fingerboard would KILL against that tight grained Ebony :bassist:
  5. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Nice top. A nice, light-colored fingerboard would really good on that, but I'm not sure what wood exactly.
  6. Eli M.

    Eli M. Life's like a movie, write your own ending

    Jul 24, 2004
    New York, NY
    On looks alone, I'd go with a maple fingerboard with a mac ebony top.
  7. GrooveWarrior

    GrooveWarrior Supporting Member

    I was just thinking a flamed maple board with no inlays would look incredible!
  8. Thats a killer top. I personally like the camphor burl top.
  9. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    ...too much dense woods together?
    What about the bass tone?
  10. My maple bodied/necked fretless 7 sounds great(but then so does my alder-bodied Jazz 5). Also, +1 on Cliff being helpful(from a guy who ended up not buying a CB:meh: ). I imagine most custom luthiers are fairly accustomed to clients totally changing their mind here & there- how they deal w/it is what sets some apart, in my book. Beautiful top, BTW.
  11. nippes


    Jul 25, 2006
    Why too much dense wood? The core, meaning the biggest piece of wood, is mahogany. The top doesn´t have that big impact. So the idea is to chose some fretboard, that adds some growl and clarity to the mahogany´s big tone. :confused:
  12. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Inactive

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Wow that looks amazing! I'm very fond of ebony, I can't wait to see how this one turns out!
  13. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Congrats -- It's goinna look great!! And I'm sure it will sound even better.
  14. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Growl and clarity? Wenge.
  15. For me, there would be only one choice for fingerboard wood: plain ebony. Anything highly figured, lighter in shade, or too different in colour (slightly browner like wenge, or redder like rosewood for example) would only take away from the beauty of the top and make the bass look cluttered. A top like that should be allowed to harmoniously speak for itself, not argue and compete for attention.
  16. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    +1 for that. Black ebony. Also, I'd have turned the board around so as to have the darker grain towards the back of the bass. But I guess you guys must know what you're doing...
  17. +1 for Wenge!
  18. michele


    Apr 2, 2004
    I'd go for a black ebony fingerboard too and I'd also put a light-coloured wood veneer between the mac-ebony top and the mahogany core.
    As concerning NJ4SE with passive electronics I can only say EXCELLENT choice! Expecially if you're a groover you'll love that baby!!! :bassist:
  19. nippes


    Jul 25, 2006
    Hi Michele, I already waited for your comment. I knew, you would give your input :D

    It´ll be a maple veneer between the ebony top and the mahogany. Lookwise I absolutely agree that the board should look straight without a lot of structure or stripes - the top is amazing enough on its own. So black ebony could be a choice. I´m just unsure about the tone. Of course I know, that an ebony board provides a snappy, bright tone, but I cannot imagine, if this would be too much or not. Could be positive for tapping and the attack would be good for slapping as well. But I´m mainly a rock bassist and here you classically use rosewoods. And it´s all about the combination of woods: mahogany - wall of sound, maple/wenge neck - growl.
    Before I swapped to that Macc top and just soundwise, Cliff proposed a Pao Ferro board as best of both worlds. Depending on the coloration, it also could be match with the lighter stripes in the top and as contrast to the overall dark top.

    Does that all make sense? :confused:
  20. michele


    Apr 2, 2004
    I can't resist! :D
    It's so exciting to follow the birth of a CB, even if it's not your own! You ponder a lot of options and Cliff it's always there, just behind you, ready to get every single input and turn it into something special ...
    The maple strip between top and core woods it's great: it'll enhance that top.
    I have the mahogany body + modern neck + ebony board: it's killer!
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